Timeline Changes to Facebook Pages
March 2nd, 2012 by Amanda Branco
Facebook rolled out the Timeline for Pages update on Wednesday. The format will be officially implemented March 30 but brands can start using the format now. There are some major changes. Many changes brands won’t be happy about. This layout can look compelling but ultimately, this is the worst thing to ever happen to Facebook Pages.
The best part about having a Facebook brand page was the ability to suit the needs of a business. Say, “Goodbye” to your designated landing page. The Timeline is now the default landing page for all Facebook Pages. “Like Gates” will now be a thing of the past. You can still put a “like gate” on a customized page but since you have no control over your landing page, what’s the point? That means that you will have to direct people from your Timeline to whatever tab you ultimately want them to visit.
Let’s look at a real world scenario. If a user pulled up your Facebook Page in the past, you could designate that you wanted to have them land on a ‘contest’ tab, or a ‘sign-up’ tab. This would encourage them to ‘LIKE’ you or sign-up to receive a free report via email. Now, they go to the Timeline and many custom tabs will pointless.
“Pinned posts” are Facebook’s attempted resolution to this problem. The idea is that you can “pin” one of your posts to temporarily (about a week) be posted at the top of your timeline. But you will still have to give users a reason to go to that designated page.
Here is how this could work together for your benefit. Host a giveaway on your Facebook via a customizable page. Place a “like gate” on this customized page. Create a pinned post on your timeline that says, “Enter our giveaway”. The post links to your giveaway page and several headaches later, voila, you have a similar effect you would have had instantly on the old layout.
This will greatly affect how fans interact with your page. Mostly due to the fact that everything is mixed together. Your timeline is obviously organized chronologically but aside from that there is no structure. Your posts, videos, photos, links, and posts by users are all in one place.
If done correctly, a business can excel in the market. Adopting the Timeline layout will take an initial time commitment to really make a Facebook page competitive.
On the bright side, these changes will allow you to update your timeline for past achievements. You can include posts for when your business started, when you expanded, and other milestones. You can include a cover photo on your page, which if nothing else will make your page much more aesthetically pleasing.
These brands are doing it right and it may take some initial time but it is not hard to duplicate these practices.
A summary of the changes
- Timeline layout. If you have not used timeline as a user, you may be unfamiliar with the layout. This is essentially a visually driven design. Your photos, videos, posts, links, and posts by others are all in one place organized by date.
- Customized tabs should still work but won’t receive as much traffic.
- Increase page size from 520px to 810px.
- Ability to send personal messages to users.
- Timeline must be your landing page.
- Like gates have been modified and will be less valuable.
- Ability to “pin posts” to the top of your timeline.
- Inclusion of a cover photo.
- Add milestones to your history.
As a Social Media Marketing company, we’re not thrilled with the changes. We see a lot of lost opportunity for brands but we’re dedicated to helping our clients make the most of the platform. This change is a prime example why we encourage our clients to have a strong presence on multiple platforms.
Want to complain about the changes while you’re updating your Page? We’ve created a Twitter hashtag dedicated to the frustration Page owners will experience. Use #FBBS to vent your frustrations – we’ll be listening.